1. London - First of all, we had a terrible hostel experience on our trip here where we were placed in the damp basement of the building underneath a loud dance floor with sickly roommates who also had bizarre bedtime routines. We also didn’t shower for two days (shout out to Claire for letting us get clean at her place) but hey, at least we fit in better with our European counterparts.
3. Milan – We had smooth sailing for the most part on this trip, except for the fact that we thought we would just roam the streets of Italy on our last night before our 6AM flight (smh at our stupidity). Luckily, we were able to extend our stay at the hostel and sleep for at least a little bit.
4. Returning to Madrid – After a well-deserved Christmas break at home, we had to come back to teach the youths of Spain for 6 months (upsidedown smiley face). This time, we had learned our lesson from August, and decided to book a direct flight from Newark to Madrid to avoid any chance of lost luggage. Of course, there was a blizzard the day we were to drive down to NJ and Alex’s angel of a father drove us in the storm for 6 hours. We made it, thought we were in the clear, and even made jokes about luggage. UNTIL KARMA MADE A JOKE OF US ONCE AGAIN. Despite our prudent efforts, Alex’s bag was lost, without any way to trace it and nobody knew of its whereabouts. Several tears, shopping trips, and weeks later, it did eventually arrive from Belgium (?) but whatever.
6. Friends visiting – You may be wondering, what could possibly be bad about friends visiting you in Europe? But remember, this is Alex and Kat we’re talking about; something always has to go wrong. Katharine thought she was ending her time with friends with a quick getaway to Barcelona. However, the train was on fire as it approached the station and then she got her wallet stolen on the metro within 10 minutes of being there. The end of Alex’s friend visiting also had an unexpected ending when they both realized her flight back to LA was actually on Friday and not Saturday, but luckily, she still made it home on time.
7. Eyebrows & Haircuts - Word to the wise: do NOT trust anybody on the Iberian Peninsula to take care of your beauty needs. Some woman threaded our eyebrows wayyy too thin and uneven and asked if we liked them after the damage was done. We both cherish our eyebrows so this was a devastating blow and took months to fully regrow. On top of that, we thought we had found the deal of the century with a cheap haircut but NOPE. Lesson learned. She insulted the work of our very professional salon-owning hairdressers’ work only to give us a finished product that made Supercuts look like a luxury experience. (And we’re still trying to recover from this one to this day).
8. Final days in Madrid – With less than a week to go, we thought our bad luck had run out. We were wrong. We were advised on Monday night that construction to replace the water pipes in our apartment would begin the following morning. Alex came home from a trip to find holes in the ceiling and plaster and water ALL over the floor. The workers also used Katharine’s bed sheet as their “tarp” over electronic equipment (remember, we’re dealing with water here). On Thursday they were still working and made the holes bigger. Alex was left alone in the apartment with them and witnessed water gushing out of the ceiling and the workers running around frantically asking if she had a bucket (excuse me, but why don’t you have your own supplies?!). THEN, questionable brown water flooded the apartment and got everywhere: the walls, the floor, and of course, Katharine’s sheet. She finally yelled at the men asking what they were doing and why they didn’t have a tarp, and they had the audacity to blame it on us saying “well, your stuff shouldn’t be here in the first place” and then assured her that cardboard was as useful a material to block water as plastic (um, wrong). Friday came around and we were so over everything and almost moved out when we realized we had no water in our apartment. Our sweet, sweet doorman called the construction workers (who had already left to go home) and they came back, assured us they had fixed it, left, and came back almost immediately because we still had no water. The supervisor told us we would have to wait until Monday to have the toilet fixed and until then, “use a bucket” (not a joke).
Ciao for now!
Alex & Kat